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IBCI (Indian Best Coaching Institute)

KERALA BOE-2014 Paper-1 Solution


Q.1 : What do you understand by terminology water tube and fire tube in boilers?

Answer :
Fire tube - A tube in a boiler having water on the outside and carrying the products of
combustion on the inside.
Water tube - A tube in a boiler having the water and steam on the inside and heat
applied to the outside.

Q.2 :What do you mean by boiler mountings? List the boiler mounting according
to Indian boiler act,1923.

Answer :

As per the IBR act 1923, Regulation no. 281 every boiler shall be provided at least with
the following :-
1. Two safety valves, one of which may be a high steam and low water type safety
valve. In no case should the bore of the seat of the valve be less than 19 mm
(3/4”). Two means of indicating the water level.
2. A steam pressure gauge;
3. A steam stop valve;
4. A feed check valve;
5. One feed apparatus.
6. A blow-down cock or valve;
7. A fusible plug when boiler has internal furnaces;
8. An attachment for Inspector’s test gauge;
9. A manhole,
10. In the case of boiler fitted with integral super heaters, an additional safety valve
shall be fitted at the end of the super heater outlet header.

Q.3 : What do you mean by Indian Boiler Regulation(IBR) steam boiler and IBR
steam pipe?

Answer : Revised definitions of steam boiler & steam pipe as per amendment in
year 2007 :
Precautions : Kindly make note that old definition has to be treated as wrong
answer, therefore always remeber below mention definition only.

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Q.4 : A boiler shell is to be made of 20mm thick plate having a limited tensile
stress of 125N/mm2. What is the permissible intensity of internal pressure when
the shell diameter is 1.6m?

Solution :
Given that d=1.6X1000=1600mm
t =20mm
δ1= 125 N/mm2
δ1= p*d/2*t
permissible intensity of internal pressure p=δ1*2*t/d

Q.5 : What are the advantages and disadvantages of a globe valve over a gate

Answer :

Advantages of a globe valve over a gate valve :

1. Globe valves, unlike gate valves, can readily throttle or modulate flow over long
periods without serious damage.
2. Globe valve can act as stop/check valve.
3. Valve parts are easy to repair and replace.

Disadvantages of a globe valve over a gate valve :

1. Globe valves are costly.
2. Globe valve are slightly complicated in design.

Q.6 : What is a balanced draft system? Why balance draught is preferred over
forced or induced draft?

Answer :
Balanced draft: Forced-draft (F-D) fan (blower) pushes air into the furnace and an
induced draft (I-D) fan draws gases into the chimney thereby providing draft to remove
the gases from the boiler. Here the pressure is maintained between 0.05 to 0.10 in. of
water gauge below atmospheric pressure in the case of boilers and slightly positive for
reheating and heat treatment furnaces.
Balanced draft is preferred over induced draft because of their flexibility & easily
controllable limit of combustion mechanism of this system.

Q.7 : Explain the principles of fluidized bed combustion and pulverized fuel
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Answer :
Fluidized Bed Combustion : It is a system in which fluidized bed which is composed of
fuel and inert material is mixed with air/gas in an atmospheric or pressurized vessel and
combustion take places in suspended condition of particles in gas stream.
When air or other gas flows upward through bed, the bed solid particles are disturbed. If
velocity increased further a stage is reached and the composed (packed) bed becomes
turbulent and rapid mixing of particles occurs. The behavior of this mixture of solid
particles and air or gas is like a fluid. Burning of a fuel in such a stage is known as
fluidized bed combustion.

Pulverized Fuel Combustion : The coal is ground (pulverized) to a fine powder, so that
less than 2% is +300 micro meter (μm) and 70-75% is below 75 microns, for a
bituminous coal. It should be noted that too fine a powder is wasteful of grinding mill
power. On the other hand, too coarse a powder does not burn completely in the
combustion chamber and results in higher unburnt losses.
The pulverized coal is blown with part of the combustion air into the boiler plant through
a series of burner nozzles. Secondary and tertiary air may also be added. Combustion
takes place at temperatures from 1300-1700°C, depending largely on coal grade.
Particle residence time in the boiler is typically 2 to 5 seconds, and the particles must be
small enough for complete combustion to have taken place during this time.
One of the most popular systems for firing pulverized coal is the tangential firing using
four burners corner to corner to create a fireball at the center of the furnace.

Q.8 : Explain the constructional features of jet and surface condensers.


SURFACE CONDENSERS : In surface condensers there is no direct contact between

the steam and cooling water and the condensate can be re-used in the boiler: In such
condenser even impure water can be used for cooling purpose whereas the cooling
water must be pure in jet condensers. Although the capital cost and the space needed is
more in surface condensers but it is justified by the saving in running cost and increase
in efficiency of plant achieved by using this condenser. Depending upon the position of
condensate extraction pump, flow of condensate and arrangement of tubes the surface
condensers may be classified as follows:
(i) Down flow type.
(ii) Central flow condenser
(iii) Evaporation condenser

JET CONDENSERS : In jet condensers the exhaust steam and cooling water come in
direct contact with each other. The temperature of cooling water and the condensate is
same when leaving the condensers. Elements of the jet condenser are as follows:
1. Nozzles or distributors for the condensing water.
2. Steam inlet.
3. Mixing chambers: They may be (a) parallel flow type (b) counter flow type
4. Hot well.


1. Low level jet condensers (Parallel flow type)
2. High level or Barometric condenser.
3. Ejector Condenser
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Q.9 : Explain the procedure of conducting accumulation test of boiler valves and
hydraulic test of boilers.

Answer :
Accumulation testing of boilers: Accumulation testing should not be carried out on
boilers fitted with super heaters as tubes can become overheated. Accumulation tests
need not be carried out on a routine basis at each in-service examination. Accumulation
tests should be carried out when:
a) A new safety valve is installed.
b) A change has been made to the safety valve discharge pipework.
c) Changes to the firing system have been made.
d) Additional or improved insulation has been fitted.
The basis for requiring an accumulation test is where any change to the steam
generating capacity of the boiler or relief capacity of the safety valve(s) may affect their
ability to protect the system. An accumulation test may attract the attention of anyone
working in the area due to the prolonged discharge of steam from the safety valve(s).
Ensure that other people in the vicinity of the boiler under test are aware of the test and
where required precautions taken to ensure their safety.
The Competent Person should ensure that the user knows that the test must be
completed with the boiler operating on the fuel that gives the highest evaporative rate.
The accumulation test should be carried out with the boiler under full firing conditions,
the stop (crown) valve closed, the feed pump stopped and the correct water level within
the boiler. The boiler water level must be safely maintained above low water level and
feed water may need to be supplied to the boiler during the test. The amount of water
supplied should be the minimum required to maintain a safe working level.
The safety valve should start to open at or below the safe operating limit. The firing
should continue until there is no further increase in pressure or until the boiler pressure
rises to a maximum of 110% of the safe operating limit.
Generally the test should not run for longer than 15 minutes to prevent damage to the
safety valve. A maximum pressure rise, after the initial lift at the set point, of less than
10% above the safe operating limit means the accumulation test is acceptable.
Failure of the accumulation test will require changes to the relief capacities/pipework
arrangement or adjustment of the burner.
Some plant may need careful consideration when determining the maximum heat input
for test purposes. Where gas firing is used as a supplementary fuel with a waste heat
boiler the maximum steam generation will occur with both systems operating.

Hydraulic Test of a boiler:

Before starting a boiler which has been laid up due to repairs, or after statutory
inspection, it is tested hydraulically to 1.¼ to 1.½ times the working pressure. For
avoiding excessive heating and chilling of boiler drums, the temperature of water used to
fill the boiler should not be 10ºC (50ºF) above or below the temperature of drums. While
filling water, the super heater should be filled first and demineralized water used. All
sections when filling water must be thoroughly vented. All mountings subject to pressure
shall be in place shut tight. The safety valve should be removed and the openings
blanked, or a clamp fitted to valve discs to secure them to their seats. The safety valves
adjustment should not be screwed down for the hydraulic test.The safety valves are to
be restored to working condition after the hydraulic tests are made and test them after

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the boiler is again placed in service. This action should never be delayed because it is
likely to be forgotten.
All doors should be jointed and tightened up. The boiler should be completely filled with
water at room temperature, care being taken to allow all air to escape, and if possible a
preliminary test not exceeding the working pressure of the boiler should be taken before
the Inspector’s visit to test the tightness of the joints.
When the boiler is hydraulically tested for the first time, it should be entirely cleared of
lagging or brickwork. At subsequent tests the lagging or brickwork or portions thereof
should be removed, if required, by the Inspector.

Q.10 : What is the purpose of feed check valve ? Explain the working of a feed
check valve with neat sketch.

Answer :

Purpose of feed check valve : The purpose of a feed check valve is to control the
supply of water to the boiler and to prevent the escaping of water from the boiler when
the pump pressure is less or pump is stopped.
i) To allow the feed water to pass into the boiler.
ii) To prevent the back flow of water from the boiler in the event of the failure of the feed

The feed check valve is fitted in the water space of the boiler slightly below the normal
level of the water. It is essentially a stop cum non-return type of valve. A stop valve is
provided on the upper section and the non-return valve is provided at the bottom so that
when the valve is opened due to backpressure the non-return valve automatically closes
due to backpressure of the steam in the boiler. There is a plug provided at the bottom
most portion of the valve body as shown so that in case the non-return valve is found
leaking the stop valve can be closed and plug can be opened to grind the non-return
valve with the help of screw driver through the slot provided on the non-return valve
extension spindle. The valve otherwise is just as a steam stop valve.

Q.11 : What are the sources of heat loss in boiler plants? What are the methods
used to reduce these losses? Explain.

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Answer :
Sources of heat loss in boiler plants:
1. Loss due to dry flue gas (sensible heat)
2. Loss due to hydrogen in fuel (H )
3. Loss due to moisture in fuel (H O)
4. Loss due to moisture in air (H O)
5. Loss due to carbon monoxide (CO)
6. Loss due to surface radiation,
7. Unburnt losses in fly ash (Carbon)
8. Unburnt losses in bottom ash (Carbon)
9. Unaccountable losses (i.e. blowdown loss, leakage etc.)

Prevention to reduce heat losses from boilers:

1. Stack Temperature : The stack temperature should be as low as possible. However,
it should not be so low that water vapor in the exhaust condenses on the stack walls.
This is important in fuels containing significant sulphur as low temperature can lead to
sulphur dew point corrosion. Stack temperatures greater than 200°C indicates potential
for recovery of waste heat. It also indicates the scaling of heat transfer/recovery
equipment and hence the urgency of taking an early shut down for water/ flue side
2. Feed Water Preheating using Economizer : Typically, the flue gases leaving a
modern 3-pass shell boiler are at temperatures of 200 to 300 °C. Thus, there is a
potential to recover heat from these gases. The flue gas exit temperature from a boiler is
usually maintained at a minimum of 200 °C, so that the sulphur oxides in the flue gas do
not condense and cause corrosion in heat transfer surfaces.
3. Combustion Air Preheat : Combustion air preheating is an alternative to feed water
heating. In order to improve thermal efficiency by 1%, the combustion air temperature
must be raised by 20 °C. Most gas and oil burners used in a boiler plant are not
designed for high air preheat temperatures.
4. Incomplete Combustion :Incomplete combustion can arise from a shortage of air or
surplus of fuel or poor distribution of fuel. It is usually obvious from the colour or smoke,
and must be corrected immediately.
With coal firing, unburned carbon can comprise a big loss. It occurs as grit carry-over or
carbon-in-ash and may amount to more than 2% of the heat supplied to the boiler. Non
uniform fuel size could be one of the reasons for incomplete combustion. In chain grate
stokers, large lumps will not burn out completely, while small pieces and fines may block
the air passage, thus causing poor air distribution. In sprinkler stokers, stoker grate
condition, fuel distributors, wind box air regulation and over-fire systems can affect
carbon loss. Increase in the fines in pulverized coal also increases carbon loss.
5. Excess Air Control : Excess air is required in all practical cases to ensure complete
combustion, to allow for the normal variations in combustion and to ensure satisfactory
stack conditions for some fuels. The optimum excess air level for maximum boiler
efficiency occurs when the sum of the losses due to incomplete combustion and loss due
to heat in flue gases is minimum. This level varies with furnace design, type of burner,
fuel and process variables. It can be determined by conducting tests with different air
fuel ratios.
6. Radiation and Convection Heat Loss : The external surfaces of a shell boiler are
hotter than the surroundings. The surfaces thus lose heat to the surroundings depending
on the surface area and the difference in temperature between the surface and the

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surroundings. The heat loss from the boiler shell is normally a fixed energy loss,
irrespective of the boiler output. With modern boiler designs, this may represent only
1.5% on the gross calorific value at full rating, but will increase to around 6%, if the boiler
operates at only 25 percent output. Repairing or augmenting insulation can reduce heat
loss through boiler walls and piping.
7. Automatic Blowdown Control : Uncontrolled continuous blowdown is very wasteful.
Automatic blowdown controls can be installed that sense and respond to boiler water
conductivity and pH. A 10% blow down in a 15 kg/cm2 boiler results in 3% efficiency
8. Reduction of Scaling and Soot Losses : In oil and coal-fired boilers, soot buildup on
tubes acts as an insulator against heat transfer. Any such deposits should be removed
on a regular basis. Elevated stack temperatures may indicate excessive soot buildup.
Also same result will occur due to scaling on the water side.
9. Reduction of Boiler Steam Pressure : This is an effective means of reducing fuel
consumption, if permissible, by as much as 1 to 2%. Lower steam pressure gives a lower
saturated steam temperature and without stack heat recovery, a similar reduction in the
temperature of the flue gas temperature results.

Q.12 : What are the advantages and disadvantages of preheating of air ? Where is
air-preheater located in a boiler plant ? Explain the working of an air pre-heater
with aid of a schematic diagram.

Answer :

Advantages of preheating of air:

In addition to increase in boiler efficiency the other advantages that may result are listed
1. Intensified and improved combustion.
2. Permitting to burn poor quality coal.
3. High heat transfer rate in the furnace and hence lesser heat transfer area
4. Less unburnt fuel particle in flue gas thus combustion and boiler efficiency is
5. Intensified combustion permits faster load variation and fluctuation.
6. In the case of pulverized coal combustion, hot air can be used for drying the coal
as well as for transporting the pulverized coal to burners.

Disadvantages of preheating of air:

To preheating of air APH(Air preheater) to be installed which is being a non-pressure
part will not warrant shutdown of units due to corrosion of heat transfer surface which is
inherent with lowering of flue gas temperature.

APH (air preheater) is located between Economizer and ESP(Electrostatic precipitator).

It is a general term to describe any device designed to heat air before another process
(for example, combustion in a boiler) with the primary objective of increasing the thermal
efficiency of the process. They may be used alone or to replace a recuperative heat
system or to replace a steam coil. The combustion air preheaters used in large boilers
found in thermal power stations producing electric power from e.g. fossil fuels,
biomasses or waste.

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Purpose of Air Preheaters :The purpose of the air preheater is to recover the heat from
the boiler flue gas which increases the thermal efficiency of the boiler by reducing the
useful heat lost in the flue gas. As a consequence, the flue gases are also conveyed to
the flue gas stack (or chimney) at a lower temperature, allowing simplified design of the
conveyance system and the flue gas stack. It also allows control over the temperature of
gases leaving the stack (to meet emissions regulations, for example).

Q.13 : A boiler produces 120 ton of dry saturated steam per hour at a pressure of
60 bar(abs) form feed water at a temperature of 120*C. The coal consumption is
1200 ton/day and 1% of coal escape unburnt. If the calorific value of the coal is
17640 kj/kg, specific enthalpy of dry saturated steam at 60 bar is 2795 kj/kg and
specific enthalpy of water at 120*C being 504kj/kg, Calculate
a). the equivalent evaporation per ton of coal fired.
b). the efficiency of the boiler.
c). the overall efficiency of the boiler.

Solution :
Mact =120000/(1200000/24)=2.4
H=Total specific enthalpy of dry saturated steam at 60bar=2795Kj/kg=668.7Kcal/kg
Hwt=Specific enthalpy of feed water at 120*C=504kj/kg=120.6 kcal/kg

Factor of equivalent evaporation “F” =(H-Hwt)/539=(668.7-120.6)/539=1.017

(a) Equivalent evaporation from per kg of coal
(b) Efficiency of Boiler =MX(Hs-Hf)/QXGCV
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© Overall efficiency of boiler= % Efficiency of boiler – % loss of unburnt of coal

Q.14 : What is boiler blowdown? Why is it necessary? Explain intermittent and

continuous blowdown.

Answer :
Boiler Blowdown : When water is boiled and steam is generated, any dissolved solids
contained in the water remain in the boiler. If more solids are put in with the feed water,
they will concentrate and may eventually reach a level where their solubility in the water
is exceeded and they deposit from the solution. Above a certain level of concentration,
these solids encourage foaming and cause carryover of water into the steam. The
deposits also lead to scale formation inside the boiler, resulting in localized overheating
and finally causing boiler tube failure.
It is, therefore, necessary to control the level of concentration of the solids and this is
achieved by the process of ‘blowing down’, where a certain volume of water is blown off
and is automatically replaced by feed water – thus maintaining the optimum level of total
dissolved solids (TDS) in the boiler water. Blow down is necessary to protect the
surfaces of the heat exchanger in the boiler. However, blow down can be a significant
source of heat loss, if improperly carried out.
Benefits of Blowdown: Good boiler blow down control can significantly reduce
treatment and operational costs that include:
1. Lower pretreatment cost
2. Less make-up water consumption
3. Reduced maintenance downtime
4. Increased boiler life
5. Lower consumption of treatment chemicals

IBD (Intermittent Blowdown) : The intermittent blown down is given by manually

operating a valve fitted to discharge pipe at the lowest point of boiler shell to reduce
parameters (TDS or conductivity, pH, Silica and Phosphates concentration) within
prescribed limits so that steam quality is not likely to be affected. In intermittent
blowdown, a large diameter line is opened for a short period of time, the time being
based on a thumb rule such as “once in a shift for 2 minutes”. Intermittent blowdown
requires large short-term increases in the amount of feed water put into the boiler, and
hence may necessitate larger feed water pumps than if continuous blow down is used.
Also, TDS level will be varying, thereby causing fluctuations of the water level in the
boiler due to changes in steam bubble size and distribution which accompany changes
in concentration of solids. Also substantial amount of heat energy is lost with intermittent

CBD (Continuous Blowdown) : There is a steady and constant dispatch of small

stream of concentrated boiler water, and replacement by steady and constant in flow of
feed water. This ensures constant TDS and steam purity at given steam load. Once blow
down valve is set for a given conditions, there is no need for regular operator
intervention. Even though large quantities of heat are wasted, opportunity exists for
recovering this heat by blowing into a flash tank and generating flash steam. This flash
steam can be used for preheating boiler feed water or for any other purpose. This type of
blow down is common in high-pressure boilers.
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Q.15 : What are the different loses which are generally taken into account in
designing a draught system? List the merits of mechanical draught over natural

Answer : The Factors Affecting The Furnace Draught: Important factors, which affect
or determine the draught requirement inside a furnace, are as following:
1. Rate of supply of fuel for combustion.
2. The type of fuel, whether solid, liquid of gaseous, being burnt
3. The type of combustion system adopted and the design of fuel burning
4. The type of atomization being deployed and size of the fuel particles
5. Depth of fuel bed and type of mechanism adopted for fuel feed in case of stoker
fired are the fluidized bed furnace
6. The resistance offered to flow of air, in the combustion air path, through the
length of ducts, baffles, bends and dampers.
7. The resistance offered to flow of flue gas, in the flue gas path by arrangement of
tubes in Super-heaters, Economizer, Air Pre-heater and through the length of
ducts, baffles, bends, dampers and the stack height
8. The size and Design of the combustion chamber or furnace.
9. Barometric pressure and ambient condition.
Merits of the Mechanical Draught over the Natural Draught :
1. Higher evaporative capacity of the boiler since required quantity of air at
2. pressure can be supplied for combustion.
3. Easy to burn even low-grade / low calorific value fuels.
4. Better control of combustion is possible and hence burning efficiency can be
5. Comparatively less emission through Stack.
6. Chimney height required can be less.

Q.16 : Find the draught created by a 30m high chimney when the flue gas
temperature passing through the chimney is 300*C and the ambient temperature
20*C, and the minimum quantity of air required per kg of fuel is 15kg. What would
be the velocity of the flue gases in the chimney if 50% of the theoretical draft is
lost in friction at the grate and passages?

Solution : Ta (Ambient temp) is 20*C=293*K

Given as H=30meters ,T=300*C=573*K & w=15kg/kg of fuel burnt
Theoretical draught “h”=353H(1/Ta-w+1/wx1/T) mmWc
h=16.4145 mmWc
Available draught is 50% of the theoretical available draught.
P=0.5X16.4145=8.21 mmwc=8.21
Now this pressure is caused by height of gas column Hg
Or Hgx353{(15+1)/15x573=8.21
Or Hgx0.657=8.21
Or Hg=8.21/0.657=12.5m
Velocity of flue gas in chimney=
V=√(2xgxHg) =√2x9.81x12.5 =15.66 m/sec
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